England will be forced to play behind closed doors at Wembley after the Football Association was punished for a “lack of order and discipline” in and around the national stadium during the Euro 2020 final.
Alongside a two-match crowd ban, with the second suspended for a probationary period of two years, Uefa ordered the Football Association to pay a fine of €100,000 (£84,500). The ban will come into effect on England’s next competitive Uefa fixture, which is set to be the opening home game of their 2022-23 Nations League campaign.
The punishment was widely expected after scenes of chaos and violence soured England’s encounter with Italy and a first major final in 50 years. Hundreds, possibly thousands, stormed the ground without a ticket. There were then scenes of disarray inside the ground while, outside, further crowds caused trouble along Wembley Way before the match and into the night with reports of assault, abuse and drug use widespread.
In explaining the reasons for its decisions, Uefa said the ban had been for a broad lack of order but drew attention to further specific offences in handing down the fine. The money should be paid, it said, for “invasion of the field of play, for throwing of objects and for the disturbances during the national anthems”.
The FA came under intense scrutiny following the events of 11 July for an apparent lack of effective security inside the ground. An inquiry was launched, with results hoped for before Christmas.
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“Although we are disappointed with the verdict, we acknowledge the outcome of this Uefa decision” the FA said in a statement, with the disappointment understood to refer to supporters being absent. “We condemn the terrible behaviour of the individuals who caused the disgraceful scenes in and around Wembley Stadium at the Euro 2020 final, and we deeply regret that some of them were able to enter the stadium.
“We are determined that this can never be repeated, so we have commissioned an independent review, led by Baroness Casey, to report on the circumstances involved. We continue to work with the relevant authorities in support of their efforts to take action against those responsible and hold them to account.”
Uefa’s decision echoes a similar punishment given to Hungary following the racist and homophobic behaviour of their fans during the Euros. For that Hungary received a three-match ban, with one match suspended, and a €100,000 fine. Last week Hungary came to Wembley in a World Cup qualifying match, with scenes of violence breaking out as police attempted to arrest a visiting fan.